VanDyke seeks seat as District 2 Commissioner
* This version of the candidate profile of Marceline resident Dennis VanDyke corrects an earlier version that appeared in print for the Linn County Leader. *
Lifelong Linn County resident and farmer Dennis VanDyke is seeking election as Linn County’s District 2 Commissioner.
VanDyke, a Marceline native, said civic involvement throughout his life has led him to seek public office.
“Since my years in 4-H, I have been interested in state and local government,” he said. “Over the years, I have been active in several organizations that have helped me learn how to work together for a common goal. I believe I can work with people by listening to their concerns and reach a consensus on how to improve Linn County.”
Working to develop more opportunities is something VanDyke says he will do if elected.
“The shrinking population is our biggest problem, which leads to less revenue and economic development. One of the first things prospective business looks for is the available workforce. Promoting job growth is one very important duty of the Linn County Commission,” he said.
COVID-19 has allowed some of the county’s strengths to shine, though it has also posed some issues for all political candidates seeking office.
“Our biggest asset is our transportation network and our essential businesses and industry which was able to keep working during this pandemic,” he said. “Because of COVID-19 I have not been able to visit with many people, I encourage anyone to call me if they have a question.” VanDyke’s phone number is 660-734-2195.
If elected, VanDyke said he plans to reach out to each township and to focus on bridges, especially those that still have wooden decks.
“I would like to see a priority list from each Township, so proper decisions can be made to bring all county roads and bridges up to standards. I have had the opportunity to visit with several township board members about the disparity in funding, rock availability and the need for more cooperation between township and county,” he said. “We still have several wooden deck bridges in our county that school buses are using every day!”
His civic-involvement current includes being the president of the Marceline Community Building Com. Inc. He also chairs the committee operating the Marceline City Market and has done so for the past 30 months.
VanDyke is the youngest son of Russell and Vera(Duncan) VanDyke, who are originally from arms north of Meadville. In 1976, he graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in agriculture and an emphasis in mechanization and economics, VanDyke said.
He and his wife, Deborah (Nichols) have five children and nine grandchildren.